4 Reasons It’s Time for a Breakup... With Your Scale
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your scale? Most women do. They skip the office party donuts, hit the gym, and rush to grab the scale the next morning. Everyone knows an a.m. weigh-in means no food baby. They hop on and... BOOM! ONE POUND LOST!!! YES!! It’s a rewarding, uplifting, and exciting moment. They’re proud. But just a few days later, they are two pounds heavier than their original weight and have no idea why. HOW is it even possible?! Discouragement, frustration, and self-disgust take over and all of their effort feels like a complete waste.
Somewhere along the line we decided to let this little square completely determine our emotions, self-confidence, and attitude towards our body image and capabilities. I think we've given it way too much power and it’s about time we take it back.
So, how do you know if you’re in an unhealthy relationship with your scale?
You check your weight every day (or multiple times a week).
You feel down and frustrated when you fluctuate a few pounds.
You have a goal weight that you’re constantly striving for.
Your weight is always in the back of your mind when making food choices and other health related decisions.
Why it’s time for a breakup:
Obsessing over your scale means obsessing over your weight, and obsessing over your weight means that your focus and priorities are misaligned. It means that you’re basing your health and well-being around a number instead of around properly nourishing and caring for your body.
Listen, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, BUT when every decision is dictated by that intense desire it can create more harm than good. Here’s why:
It will most likely lead to disappointment and regret. Losing weight is an extremely difficult task and it takes a lot of time. However, we have the tendency to set unrealistic goals for ourselves and we expect it to be a quick and easy process. When it doesn’t go as planned, we naturally get discouraged. We lose all of the motivation and confidence we started out with and sometimes we even get angry with ourselves. It can make us regret even trying to make changes in the first place. It can also create a negative mindset when it comes to making healthy changes in the future. Instead of weight centered goals, try striving for a specific feeling such as “I want to feel more energized and not completely rely on coffee to get me through the day.” or “I want to get rid of the digestive upset I get after eating cheese.”
Weight isn’t the only indicator of health. Someone could be a tad overweight but making healthier choices than their neighbor who has a high metabolism living solely off of twinkies. Our body types are extremely different from one another, which is why it’s crucial that we get to know it inside and out. When we get caught up with the numbers, we are most likely missing all of the other indicators of poor health. We should be more concerned with what our energy and stress levels look like, what our gut feels like on a regular basis, whether we’re clear minded or have brain fog, if we have a skin condition, a hormone imbalance, or even just feel... off. Our food choices drastically affect all of these things, and if we’re struggling with one it's a reliable indicator that our bodies require some special care and can even point directly to the underlying issue.
When making weight the priority, people tend to develop inaccurate outlooks on food. They think that dieting, eating less, and eliminating carbs and fats are the answers to losing weight. They get wrapped up in these false ideas and miss out on what actually works. It also encourages a one-size-fits-all mentality (The idea that one type of diet, exercise, or supplement works for everyone), which has them bouncing from one fad to the next. Instead, the focus should be on a whole foods diet while exploring what works and what doesn’t for their specific body type.
It fosters an unhealthy relationship between the mind and body. The desire to lose weight is often a result of unhappiness or disappointment with our body. We have a “dream body” in mind (and it probably looks a whole lot like someone elses… cough cough - all of those insta fit girls with the perfect abs?) But hold up, this isn’t any way to treat the vessel that gets us through this crazy thing called life. Take a moment to think about what it carries you through every day (that long commute to work, chasing after the kids, keeping up with the never ending housework and demanding errands). We need to appreciate our bodies more! Making decisions out of love for it will be so much more fulfilling than doing it out of disgust. Care about it, honor it, and give back to it!
Make a vow to develop a positive relationship with your body and re-evaluate what it means to be healthy. Make the focus on something other than your weight, you will not regret it. If you'd like some pointers or support, contact me about one of my private health coaching programs! I’d love to guide you on this journey.
Oh, and throw away that scale! (Or at least store it until you travel and need to make sure your luggage is under 50 lbs).